Vertcoin can be mined easily using the one-click miner (available here) with any Nvidia-based computer (and, some time soon, AMD-based computers). But what’s so special about this P2Pool you might have heard about?
A P2Pool is a peer-to-peer pool where miners can mine Vertcoin together. The fact that it is peer-to-peer means it is decentralised, with nodes set up all over the world connected together. This prevents any one pool from being so large that a currency could be vulnerable to what is called a 51% attack.
So what’s a 51% attack?
If a single large pool controls more than 50% of all hashing power, it can basically control the entire blockchain. This is very bad. Those in control could prevent transactions from going through by preventing confirmations, and could even reverse transactions and “double spend” (spend otherwise already-spent transactions), resulting in duplicate spending of the same coins. This would be hugely problematic, and the P2Pool is an important tool in preventing this. It is virtually impossible for Vertcoin to experience a 51% attack since P2Pool nodes are so widely spread and thereby prevent monopolising concentration of mining control.
The One-Click Miner makes it extremely easy to choose a P2Pool node. You simply click “Find P2Pool nodes” and then observe the list after scanning. Choose nodes with low latency to get the best performance. You can check the details of P2Pool nodes and look for ones with low fees or donations (unless you prefer to make donations, which is fine, of course!). Check the “uptime” of the node too – one that has only been up for a day or two probably isn’t all that stable. You can even check off a number of P2Pool nodes to use. This way, if one node is having issues, One-Click Miner will automatically switch to another selected pool for you.
An added benefit of the P2Pool is that you get paid directly to your wallet. Other pools often will hold a reward until you meet a certain threshold, and then release the funds to you. This can result in you not receiving the funds you mined, or at least having to wait for funds to which you are entitled. By using a P2Pool, you get rewarded when you have successfully mined, not when the pool decides it is time to reward you.
Be aware that most P2Pool nodes will increase your reward if you stick around for a while. If you flip from node to node, you will not get the same quantity of mining reward as you would if you stick to a single node. Give a node you choose a good few days to run before making a decision about switching.
Also, for your average gaming computer, you will likely get a hash rate that is less than 100 MH/s (megahash per second). The One-Click Miner allows you to choose between two networks. Network 1 is optimised for higher hash-rate rigs that are mining full time, so you should avoid this one unless you have a hefty system. Choose Network 2 to receive smaller, more frequent block rewards if you mine less frequently, or if your rig is not doing more than 100 MH/s.
P2Pool is yet another reason that Vertcoin stands out as a decentralised currency for the people. It is designed through and through with this in mind. Fire up your One-Click Miner and take advantage of P2Pool technology today!